Snowbirds LbNA # 37771 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Jan 8 2008|
As snowbirds traveling along our route to our winter destination, we often have passed and wondered about the old bridge structure called "The Bridge To Nowhere", and wondered at it's history. We finally took the short trip to take a look.
This 800-foot-long suspension bridge spanned the Gila River when it was completed in 1929, and was originally called "Dome Bridge" designed after the "Golden Gate Bridge" in San Francisco, to help people to cross the Gila River. Since the river diversion in 1968, it mostly spans sand and rock. It was then named a "McPhaul Bridge" in honor of Henry Harrison McPhaul, "the only Yuma resident who ever became an Arizona Ranger." But it was considered to be too flimsy for modern traffic, and when a dam was built upstream in 1968 the river was diverted and the highway was rerouted over a much smaller bridge. This ultimately proved unwise, as a flood in 1993 destroyed the new bridge while the Bridge to Nowhere, with its broad span and high clearance, probably would have been just fine. The Arizona air has kept it remarkably intact. It would have been a fine location for a post-Apocalyptic Charlton Heston film..
Snowbirds: To find the "Bridge to Nowhere", from Yuma take HWY 95 north to about mile 38 marker (you will pass over a canal) Just past the canal to the left, is "Martha's Gardens", a place that sells dates and date shakes. You will see the bridge just beyond. Turn left toward the shop, as the road passes by to the bridge. You can either walk from the shop, or drive to the bridge, but the turn around is a little small. So now... walk up to the sign on the door that says "Bridge Closed, No Trespassing". Turn right from the door and see the large cement slab in the ground. You want to skirt around the slab and approach the first support beams under the bridge. Reach up between the timbers and find your goal. You might want to try a stick to poke around with, as there is always danger of bugs or other critters.